The meeting started out with the typical things you would expect to hear at any sports gathering. There was some chattering about gear, about teams that were idolized, and a bit of scattered talk about tactics.
This wasn’t, however, your ordinary gathering of athletes.
For starters, there were quite a few brooms strewn among those gathered at the Cistern. Some students were leaning on their brooms, while still more lay on the ground as the crowd continued to amass. There was also a veritable sea of Harry Potter T-shirts.
That’s because this was Quidditch.
Since its conception in 2009, the CofC Quidditch team has gone on to make quite a name for themselves. Placing 12th in a tournament consisting of 46 teams from around the world, the team is out to keep their place in the rankings. They hope to place in the top 10 in this year’s Quidditch World Cup being held in New York City.
Senior Laurin Garbowsky, who is not only a co-founder of the team but also the International Quidditch Association representative for South Carolina, was excited about the large turnout.
“This is wonderful,” she said. “And they all look really able bodied and ready to play, which is great.”
It’s easy to think of Quidditch as something less than a real, physical sport. After all, seeing students run around on brooms while chasing a track runner with a tennis ball hanging off of him is something that would seem to inspire a good bit of laughter. However, Garbowsky ensures the prospects that Quidditch is anything but easy.
“This is a very physical sport,” she emphasized, making note that brooms should have wooden rather than metal handles in order to prevent injury.
Despite this though, the team is rearing to go, with many tournaments and games already on their mind. The Quidditch World Cup, this year being attended by 100 teams, is first on the list as its November 12th start date looms near. There’s also the Mardi Gras Carnival Cup in Baton Rouge, LA to look forward to in February.
Not all will be too far from home though. While the World Cup and the Carnival Cup are big events in the year, the CofC team has plenty of opponents nearby.
“We made friends with the team from Winthrop University and …Chapin High School in Columbia…we’ll be playing them again. And we’ll also be playing Duke, they’re holding the Carolina Cup,” Garbowsky said.
If you think you’ve got what it takes to join the ranks of the Cougar Quidditch players, show up on Wednesday, September 7th at 7pm behind Addlestone Library for tryouts. And remember, B.Y.O.B., which for all you muggles means, Bring Your Own Broom.
For more information on the team, be sure to look up their Facebook page under CofC Quidditch and check out www.internationalquidditch.org.